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Duterte says Congress should take full responsibility if drug lords take control of barangay polls

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President Rodrigo Duterte said lawmakers should take full responsibility for insisting on holding barangay elections this May without first ensuring that drug lords won’t manipulate the results.

“Now how could I be happy recommending an election within the next few months? Ang sinabi ko sa mga congressman, ‘Kayo, I will not stop you, that is your job, and if you think elections are very important in a democratic way of life, go ahead, schedule it’,” said Duterte in a speech in Tarlac.

He added: “I’ll just give you the caveat, marami dito manalo na suportado ng drug money. Ngayon, bahala kayo. Kasi kung sabihin ko naman walang eleksyon, sabihin niyo na, ‘Duterte, gustong mag-diktador’.”

Duterte had postponed the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections on October 2016 – first to October 2017 and second to May 2018. On both occasions, Duterte claimed that drug lords would take control of barangay polls to foil his brutal war on drugs.

Duterte’s allies in Congress have filed a bill postponing the barangay polls to May 2019. Senate Minority Leader Frank Drilon claimed that the third postponement was being sought not because of the drug infestation in the barangay level but because Duterte allies wanted more time change the Constitution and hold a plebiscite together with the barangay polls.